The ESG investment trends to watch out for this year

| Category: News

ESG investing means considering environmental, social, and governance factors when deciding how to invest.

ESG investing continues to grow and more investors are considering how they reflect their values in financial decisions. It covers a broad range of areas, but here are some of the trends that are set to affect ESG investing this year.

The rise of net zero pledges

As part of commitments to reduce companies’ contributions to climate change, many firms have already made pledges to reduce their carbon emissions. In 2022, it’s expected that more will make net zero pledges.

A net zero pledge means a company commits to removing as much carbon from the atmosphere as it adds. This will involve companies reducing the amount of carbon they produce by making changes to their operations.

In addition, the number of companies that engage in carbon offsetting is also expected to rise. This will allow firms to offset those emissions they can’t remove from their process by supporting projects that remove emissions.

Some companies have already made net zero targets, including Microsoft, BT, Sainsbury’s, and PwC. The range of companies that have already committed highlights how it’s a trend that will cross different industries.

However, investors still need to keep greenwashing in mind. Greenwashing is where a company brands products or initiatives as eco-friendly when this is not the case.

Analysis conducted by the NewClimate Institute found that the climate pledges of 25 of the world’s largest companies in reality only commit to reducing their emissions by 40%, not 100% as terms like net zero suggest.

Addressing the social effects of climate change

Climate change has been high on the agenda for ESG investors for years. Now, social factors are gradually being incorporated into this to understand how the consequences of climate change and policies will affect people and communities.

It’s a complex area that can cover many different things. For instance, it may consider how the direct consequences of climate change, such as more extreme weather events, will affect communities and how companies should respond to these events. Or it may look at how the transition away from fossil fuels will affect the progress of countries that are still developing.

The push to consider the social effects of climate change is partly being driven by a pledge made at the COP26 climate conference in November 2021.

The conference brought together governments and other parties to agree on action towards climate change goals. During the conference, more than 30 countries pledged to support workers and communities that will be harmed by the transition to a green economy.

As ESG becomes more mainstream, we’ll likely see more issues that combine the three core areas in some way to tackle complicated challenges.

Scrutinising supply chains

The last two years have highlighted how important supply chains for businesses are, and just how global.

Due to the pandemic, many firms experienced a disruption in their supplies and operations, with the effects being felt across entire supply chains. Even now, some businesses are still struggling to access the materials and products they need to operate at the same level they did before the pandemic.

A robust supply chain can provide security for businesses. On top of this, whether a supply chain reflects a company’s ESG commitments will also come under closer scrutiny.

While this trend can provide more confidence for ESG investors, reviewing complex supply chains could present challenges for both companies and investors.

Pressure for companies to pay their “fair share”

The amount of tax that companies pay in the regions they operate has made headlines in the last few years. Again, the effects of the pandemic mean this trend will be in the spotlight even more.

As governments were forced to borrow more money to provide health and social support during the pandemic, taxes are expected to rise. As the tax burden increases for individuals, it’s anticipated there will be growing pressure for businesses to pay their “fair share”, particularly if they benefited from government support during the pandemic.

While large companies hire whole teams to ensure they pay the correct amount of tax in each jurisdiction, these teams will also use loopholes and reliefs to pay as little tax as possible. As pressure grows for companies to pay a “fair share” it will be interesting to see how this translates to company policy and investor action in 2022 and beyond.

Increasing demand for standardised reporting

As greenwashing becomes a key concern for investors, there will be an increased demand for regulation and reporting standards.

At the moment, it can be difficult to hold firms accountable if they make claims or set vague targets in their reports. This can also make it challenging for investors to compare different investment opportunities against their ESG criteria. To combat this, there will be an increase in demand for more standards.

This is a process that the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has already begun. Last year, the FCA published a discussion paper on potential criteria for classifying and labelling investment products that would provide investors with more clarity. However, it’s likely to be a slow process and many years before standard reporting is seen across the industry.

Get in touch

Would you like to consider ESG factors when you invest or review your investment portfolio? We’re here to help you understand how investing can help you reach your goals.

Please note: This blog is for general information only and does not constitute advice. The information is aimed at retail clients only.

The value of your investment can go down as well as up and you may not get back the full amount you invested. Past performance is not a reliable indicator of future performance.


Working with Blue Ocean has enabled myself and my wife to invest our pension savings with the confidence that they are being managed by a professional team of qualified financial advisers. They have been very supportive and responsive when we've requested a detailed analysis of our investment performance and the outcome has been positive in terms of the expected returns. I have recommended family and friends to Blue Ocean and they have been equally very satisfied with the service.

Glen Ridout


A client since 2011

We would have no problem whatsoever in recommending the services of Blue Ocean for sound financial appreciation and advice, all handled in a friendly, convivial and concerned manner. Blue Ocean are always looking at how they can go that extra mile for their clients. This is a rare positive commodity in any business environment in today's world. The financial advice is always considered and simply explained in terms of what if and if you invested here etc. There is no pressure put on me to invest in high-risk return possibilities and at all stages the advice given is tailored to the perceived situation of their clients.

Barry William Ednie

Tonbridge, Kent

A client since 2013

Over the past 18 years, I have received very reassuring advice on my investments and always been treated in a friendly but professional manner.

Jacqueline Prosser


A client since 2001

I have known John for over 20 years and have always been satisfied with his integrity, knowledge and reliability. I recommend him to business and family contacts without reserve.

Paul Richardson


A client since 2002

Bespoke service... friendly, helpful staff.

Jane Stevens

Dartford, Kent

A client since 2017

Blue Ocean resolved a difficult situation in a very satisfactory way. The whole staff are extremely friendly and helpful and it was very cost-effective.

Richard Mersh


A client since 2017

Since we have used John and the team over the years our investments have gone from strength to strength. We’re very happy with the work they have done for us. I am now in a position to retire with no money worries.

Keith Yeates


A client since 2008

Honest, well versed, ‘personal touch’ business out to make sure everyone has satisfaction.

John Townsend

Hearn Bay, Kent

A client since 2017

I have received honest advice in a relaxed, friendly environment with my personal circumstances paramount.

Janice Hill


A client since 2009

I love Blue Ocean Hartley! So very helpful and fantastic staff.

Christine Bryant

Dartford, Kent

A client since 2009

Blue Ocean has always given me the help and advice that I feel protects my family’s investments. Not only have we used Blue Ocean for more than 20 years, but the team have always made us feel welcome. Always at the end of the phone for any advice we may need. Many thanks!

Russell Paul David

Rochester, Kent

A client since 2001

I have been advised by Blue Ocean for the past 21 years, and have always found their service sound, helpful and supportive.

Louise Bober


A client since 1999

Having the benefits of sound financial advice from Blue Ocean for over 20 years, I would recommend them without hesitation.

Andrew Martin

Medway, Kent

A client since 1999

We have used John Doyle and Blue Ocean for over 20 years as our financial adviser for everything from mortgages, pensions, income protection, trusts and investments. His advice has always been realistic, reliable and no-nonsense. He has always understood our requirements and has advised accordingly.

Michaela Franklin


A client since 1999

I find them very easy to deal with. Extremely knowledgeable and with no pressure.

George Howell


A client since 2016

I moved my investments to Blue Ocean in 2014. The advice I have received has been more professional and my investments have performed better. The staff are polite and always quick to respond to queries.

Lee Menzies

East Sussex

A client since 2014

Having been a client of Blue Ocean for the past 3-4 years, I can honestly say there is nobody I trust more with regards to my financial future than John and the team. Too good to be true? Not with Blue Ocean!

Liam Ryan


A client since 2016

Very good, friendly advice from a good team.

Stephen Williams


A client since 2010

Knowledgeable, approachable and always happy to discuss my issues.

Michael Southall


A client since 2018

Professional and reactive to any questions regarding your investment.

Michael Gould


A client since 2011